The following is a guest blog written for CNBC by Peter Morici, professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, and former chief economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission.
Governor Romney has not capitalized on the stagnant economy, because after sewing up the GOP nomination, he failed to move quickly on issues critical to key demographic groups, and act on the challenger’s imperative to offer a better alternative to the President’s policies.
To win conservative primary voters, Governor Romney rejected the Dream Act, which enjoyed bi-partisan sponsorship in Congress and would permit young adults brought to America illegally as children to earn citizenship by completing two years of college or military service.
After securing the nomination, Mr. Romney failed to define a compromise position more acceptable to Hispanic voters, and permitted President Obama to preempt the issue by suspending deportation of those young adults. President Obama enjoys an overwhelming lead among Hispanic voters.
Governor Romney vows to repeal Obamacare but is vague about what would replace it. The President’s health care reforms may be too expensive and encourage private firms to offshore jobs to escape costly coverage for employees; however, the law contains provisions popular among the elderly and with women-for example, much improved Medicare prescription drug coverage and coverage for children with chronic conditions.
No surprise! President Obama leads Governor Romney in Florida-a must win state for any Republican candidate, along with Texas, given the Democrat’s lock on California and New York. And the President enjoys a significant lead among women in battleground states.
On the economy, Governor Romney sounds like a broken record, repeating an annoying theme and undermining his appeal. Constantly harping President Obama’s economic policies have failed, he asserts his business experience qualifies him to create millions of new American jobs.